Are You Merry or SAD at Christmas Time?

Are You Merry or SAD at Christmas Time?

Christmas is a tricky time of year for different reasons. Past memories can trigger a good or bad emotional reaction. Or you may not like the seasonal weather. Personally, I must admit to being somewhat sad.

sad

I just don’t feel myself lately. I am not attempting to be funny by writing that. And I am not one to whine on about things but it is true, I actually am not touching myself, for sexual pleasure, as frequently as my normal. Not feeling quite as kinky. But I think this is a symptom of another issue – I am just not feeling very much like me at the moment.

Awake

 I wake up each morning – now that is a lie, I actually wake up somewhere in the middle of the night, mostly unable to return to sleep. Perhaps then I should rephrase that sentence – each evening I go to bed thinking I will feel more like myself in the morning. Occasionally I catch glimpses but that flash quickly vanishes and I am left feeling a little lost, as if I am searching for something. Searching for me. I feel tearful, sad and a little confused.

One of my children is very similar to me. Each October, as winter approaches, she starts to get slightly anxious and emotional. We always talk about it.

“But darling, this happens every year,” I say.

“Does it? I don’t remember it happening much before,” she replies.

Nutrition

fresh chillies
Eating well is important if you have SAD

I have a nutritional background so seek out some natural remedies to get her back on an even keel. Periodically, over the following few months, I ask how she is feeling. She generally replies that the treatments are helping.

April arrives and I reiterate the question, and her reply is always,

“What? Oh no I am fine”

That is the status quo until mid-autumn when we once again have the above conversation.

It’s curious that she can’t really recognise how the same mental state appears, at the same time, each year.

I think my problem is akin to hers. For a few months every year I feel a little odd and then have the tenancy to forget it happened, unless I really focus on it. Where I am concerned I know hormonal fluctuations will be adding to my precarious feelings.

My relationship

It can affect my relationship with my man because I become inconsistent due to my emotional state and this can lead to me exhibiting unpredictable behaviour. More and more we both recognise it though, and therefore can sometimes head off a conflict.

Feeling this way lessens my sex drive but our sexual life is only mildly affected. Because I am a little obsessed with his cock, just a quick feel will tend to turn me on. I think I am ready to get down on my knees and suck it no matter what time of day it is.  If I had a penis I am sure I would be playing with it 24/7.

So at this point, the reader is probably shouting at the page – SAD. And this indeed is most likely the cause of my winter instability.

SAD during the Winter

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • a persistent low mood or feeling anxious

  • a loss of interest in everyday activities that you normally find pleasurable

  • irritability or moodiness

  • feeling lethargic

  • sleeping problems

It is thought that SAD occurs because of reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days. Lack of sunlight interrupts the part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which can affect the production of certain chemicals such as melatonin (regulates sleep patterns), and serotonin (balances mood). Both of these are involved in your body’s internal clock. When disrupted it can make you feel out of kilter, just not quite yourself. How strongly and in what way these symptoms manifest is down to the individual, but it’s also possible that some people are more vulnerable to SAD as a result of their genes; it appears to run in families. This is clearly the case for my daughter and me.

Take care of yourself

When the pattern of recognition kicks in I usually take a few of the natural remedies that I recommend for my daughter. The best thing would be to go and spend a lengthy amount of time where there are longer daylight hours so your hypothalamus corrects itself. Some winter sun perhaps. But of course, this is not an option for everybody.

A few things that we have found can help are:

Lavender capsules – make sure they are good ones – they usually need to be imported into the country. You can get them from online shops. Lavender helps to calm and relax you.

5HTP – this provides a precursor to serotonin. Your internal clock feels more in balance with higher serotonin levels. Vitamin D has a similar effect. Both can be bought at ordinary health food shops.

Melatonin. This is the sleep chemical so should be taken at night. You can not buy it in this country because of certain old EU regulations. I bought some back from a trip to the USA and really found it helpful. I believe online shops can import it.

For a woman, evening primrose, or sea buckthorn oil are great for helping to level your hormones.

Eat healthily and try and get outdoor exercise during daylight hours.

So if I practice what I preach then hopefully I will be feeling and touching myself again very soon.

References

NHS

Natural Health

First published Dec 2017 – updated for Dec 2020
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17 thoughts on “Are You Merry or SAD at Christmas Time?

  1. Some really handy suggestions here May. I found the recommendation that you can get enough melatonin from a glass of sour cherry juice in the morning, with breakfast. Probably less expensive that a trip to America? (Though not as likely to top you up with Vitamin D!)

    Thank you for linking up

  2. “Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol”

  3. I have noticed a similar pattern to my moods, although for me it is September /October, when the days start getting noticeably shorter. Oddly, by December I seem to level out a bit, although by February, I am definitely counting down each day of low mood and lethargy until spring appears.
    Thanks for the excellent tips, especially the lavender capsules. I had no idea one could take lavender in pill form, and I’m always looking for things to tackle my insomnia ?

  4. I suffer from SAD and take vitamin D to help, I also have a sunrise alarm clock but feel awkward using it as it wakes my partner too, not something he’s particularly happy about it at before 5am!

  5. I feel like work places should give short SAD breaks, as in the winter, it’s dark when most folks go into work and when they come back out again. Thank you for this informative and helpful list of natural remedies, and I hope you’re getting the sunshine you need. <3

  6. Well said. I suffer from SAD only discovering it after reading over my journals from previous years. I discovered my pattern of behavior and now armed with knowledge I try to keep mindful of triggers and eat proper food.
    Mental health awareness is always a good thing, thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  7. I had SAD when at university which was in a very gray cold Northern part of the US.

    Now with the exception of the last two weeks of December i structure my travels to include a lot of Florida, the South West and SoCal.

  8. I feel a bit similar, though it’s only been the past several years. Thank you for offering up some advice, and I’m glad that you recognize it within you and are aware enough to help your little one.

  9. My Mum definitely has this and me too although to a slightly lesser degree and my daughter too. I find getting out on days when there is sun really helps and also keeping warm, because I suffer from poor circulation, once I get cold it is hard for me to get warm again. I have also found the Vit D tablets to be really helpful

    Mollyx

  10. SAD sucks and most people never figure out what it is or that it’s whats causing the ‘winter blues’. I increase my vitamin D as soon as the days start getting longer. Don’t worry the most wonderful day of the year is just around the corner. December 21st. The shortest day of the year, it’s the best because the days get longer after that. 😉

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. I love your Xmas setting, and especially the picture above the fireplace. That’s definitely a great piece of art!
    As for the sadness, I was going to mention SAD but then you recognized it yourself. I know it’s not true, but there is the old joke that England only has four weeks of summer!

  12. SAD is a bitch isn’t it. I’m sure it’s worse for you Northern Hemi’s but I’ll most likely be feeling it in six months or so. Thanks for the suggestions for products to help. And, big hugs from across the kilometres (if permitted). I’ve included some Southern Sunshine with that!
    Indie xxx

  13. What a wonderful informative post May, thank you for being so open. It’s bewildering sometimes when you just not “you”.
    Hope you get back into yourself soon. And sleep right through ?

    1. Thanks for reading Tabitha – yeah I start feeling a bit more ok as soon as i recognise it for what it is and don’t think i am going slightly mad 😉 x

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